Nintendo Wii U

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To get into the Nintendo Wii U write-up, first you must download the two-hour update. Once done, a few installations and a further update should get you access. Or just click ‘Continue Reading’. That works too.

The Wii U is the first new console since 2007, and it’s been so long that people have become confused on what it is. The Wii U tablet controller is not an add-on for the Wii, but a controller for a new box to stick under the TV. The name Wii U doesn’t help, plus the fact it still uses most Wii accessories (fully backwards compatible with Wii so you can toss that white box away. Or whatever colour they do it in these days. Unless you still have some Gamecube games, then don’t throw it away. Sorry.)  nor does the complete focus on the controller over the console itself, but the new pad needs as much exposure as possible. It isn’t as straightforward as motion control, and until you get to grips with one the point may be missed. But the Wii U is incredibly exciting, despite the enthusiasm killer updates at the start trying to break your mind.

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The console is Nintendo’s first touchdown into the world of HD, and games are on a similar level to the 360 and PS3. But power isn’t the key selling point here, it’s the bulky but lightweight game pad. On a basic level the pad acts as a touch screen menu screen like the DS’s second screen or a repeat image of what’s displayed on the TV (which allows you to switch the TV off and play from just the pad. Great when someone suddenly gets an urge to watch porn when you’re deep into Mario), but as you delve deeper into the world of the U, the game changing features become apparent.

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It’s all about being asymmetrical. One player may be shooting zombies on the TV, but the pad user will be dropping zombies from a top down menu. Or sneaking around as a ghost that the TV players can’t see as they wander around. It’s a case of getting hold of it and letting the magic spark. Not as instantly relatable as Wii Sports Tennis, but just as gripping once you’ve snuck behind your first ghost hunter.

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The Miiverse is the other big change the Wii U is bringing, this time to online gaming. Every game is now connected to this Miiverse service and you can write or draw posts to celebrate great achievements or just draw a picture of a stick man on fire. Every player online can see these posts with an option to comment or like, bringing a feeling of community, much like Twitter but with fewer posts about Justin Beiber. At the moment, it won’t be long before his army of followers start plaguing the Funky Barn community. It’s just a shame the Miiverse is causing systems to crash at the moment, but a patch will pop up soon. Which means more updates. Yay.

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The long struggle of watching installations and percentage bars slowly fill up is the state of day one gaming these days unfortunately, but the minute the console lets you in is the start of a new asymmetrical generation. While I read, my asymmetrical self is working a 9-5 shift in Tescos. New skills the Wii U taught for the future.

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